ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard Review

(This post is a duplicate of the one found on our main Rewards Canada site)

we launched Rewards Canada in 2001 we have always stated that there
aren’t really any bad credit cards out there as each card is good for
certain individuals. However there are cards that we would have
considered being at the bottom of the list when comparing cards and the ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard used
to be one of them. Not the worst card but not far from taking that
title. That was when the card had an annual fee but the card was
revamped in the Fall of 2014 and now ATB touts it as the “Best no-fee
coverage travel card”. So with that statement we decided to give this
‘small’ issuing bank card the Rewards Canada review treatment!


The only for Alberta residents ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard
is the only travel rewards card from Alberta Treasury Branch portfolio
of cards that also includes Cashback and MyHusky rewards cards. It used
to be a weak card when compared to others in Canada but with its recent
especially since it had an $89 annual fee and lackluster rewards and
insurance. Now that has changed and the card provides a decent no fee
option for those living in Alberta.

Sign up Features

The ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard does not have
a sign bonus when you apply for the card although in the past in was
known for having the largest sign up bonus on a credit card in Canada*.
In place of a points based sign up bonus they are however providing a 0%
interest rate on balance transfers to the card for the first six

* Related: ATB
Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard 100,000 Point Sign Up Bonus – Classic
case of “Remember people it’s all about the EARN and the BURN”


The ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard has no annual fee for the primary or secondary cards. The interest rate
on the card is19.9% which is in line with most of the cards at this


The ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard has a simple earning structure of 10 points per dollar spent on all eligible purchases made with the card. One
thing to note with this card is that they round down earnings on
non-whole dollar purchases. For example if a purchase is $47.79 you’ll
earn 470 points.



The ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard
redemption process is like many other cards that have proprietary
rewards programs. The card allows for various travel redemptions made
via the contracted travel agency or via their website
where you can redeem for hotel gift certificates (Fairmont, Delta, Brewsters),
VIA Rail Gift Cards, gift cards and several other
travel experience options. There are also other non-travel redemptions
available. This card falls into the book any travel anywhere
sub-category of Travel Points cards which means you don’t have to redeem
via ATB MY Rewards. All you have to do is book your travel whether it
be,, or anywhere else including
your trusted travel agent and when that charge shows up on your
statement you simply call up ATB My Rewards or go online and redeem
points against the charge.

With this card you’ll want to go with the first option of booking
via their travel agency or the latter option of redeeming for any travel
as that will get you the best return on your spending. Points are
redeemed at a rate of 1000 points for a $1 statement credit towards that
travel charge. This means you receive a 1% return on your spending
which for a no fee card is standard and equivalent to most of this
card’s competitors. Both the travel agency and self booking options have
a minimum redemption of 50,000 points for $50 off your travel. That is
the beauty of this card and many like it, you don’t have to have the
full amount of points to begin to enjoy the rewards! If you buy an
airline ticket for $600 and have 30,000 points you can choose to redeem
those points for a $300 credit which means your flight only cost $300.
Another benefit of this’ book travel on your own’ is you can be on
vacation and buy travel on the card (say a rail ticket) and then redeem
points when you get home. It can’t be done with cards that don’t have
this feature such as the BMO Rewards World Elite MasterCard or CIBC
Aventura Visa since you need to redeem the points ahead of time.
Essentially the ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard falls into the category of most flexible travel rewards cards.

The other travel redemptions on
their website are gift cards and gift certificates for several
Canadian hotel operators, VIA Rail and These options do
not provide the 1% return that you would get for redeeming for travel
directly. Most of these options run 130,000 for a $100 Gift Card or
Certificate. That equates to roughly a 0.77% return on your spending.
The question is, unless you need to give a gift certificate as a gift
why would you redeem for one of these? If you have a stay planned at the
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise you are better off booking it through
ATB’s agency or yourself and redeeming 130,000 points for a $130 credit
rather than the $100 gift card.

Features and Benefits

The ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard
comes with a really decent insurance and benefits suite for a no fee
card. On the insurance side the card comes with wide range of coverage
as including travel accident insurance, flight delay, baggage delay
insurance, car rental CDW coverage, purchase protection and extended
warranty. Save for about three other cards most no fee travel rewards
cards do not include insurance coverage like this card does.

The card also offers one other benefit that we typically don’t
see on a credit card but rather from vacation packagers: a weather
guarantee! Called WeatherGuard, it offers up to a $300 discount towards
future travel if precipitation is more than 0.5 inches in a 24-hour
period on at least half of the total number of days on your affected
trip. Trip must be a minimum of 4 days/3 nights within Canada, the
United States, or Caribbean. You then have two years after you return
from the affected vacation to apply the discount towards another

What is good about this card

The insurance package that comes with the ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard is strong for a no fee rewards card and is the best thing about it.

Also the fact that you can book travel on your own and
then redeem points against the charge on your account is great as it
provides the utmost in flexibility when it comes to travel rewards.

The WeatherGuard benefit is another good point to the card,
while it seems like a great benefit, the longer your trip the less
likely it will work out that you would be able to claim this benefit.
However since it does work for trips in Canada or to the U.S. and you
fly to a location that is known for rain, say Vancouver, Victoria or
Seattle for four days, you won’t be sad if it rains as chances are
you’ll be prepared for it and there is a possibility you could qualify
for this credit!

What is not so good about this

The 1% return on the card, while standard for the majority
of no fee travel rewards cards is lower than at least three other cards
who provide 1.25% or a blend of 1 and 2% back makes the card a little
weak in the earning department.

No sign up bonus, many no fee cards don’t carry a bonus but this card’s major competitors do.

The foreign transaction fee on this card is the highest in
Canada. The majority of cards charge 2.5%, some are 0% and 2% while this
card is 2.9%. If you travel out of Canada a lot that 0.4% could really
add up to a lot of extra fees.

The fact that this card is only available to Albertans makes it not good at all for the remainder of Canada!


For point and mile gamers in Alberta the ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard
won’t even be on the radar. No sign up bonus, no ties to other loyalty
programs and a mediocre return. However for those who aren’t chasing
down every mile and point but like to vacation once or twice a year this
card could actually make sense. One percent return isn’t huge but the
fact that you can book travel how you want and when you want is a nice
bonus and makes it much easier to redeem for travel rewards than
programs like Aeroplan and AIR MILES. This is especially true if you
don’t earn a lot of miles in those two other programs from other
methods. If you are happy with a few hundred dollars discount each time
you take a vacation, these type of cards totally make sense. For others
in Alberta the card may be attractive as secondary or tertiary card
especially if you bank at ATB for convenience sake however if you don’t
bank at ATB you are probably better off with one of the no-fee travel
rewards cards that offer 1.25% as one would assume that your primary
credit card carries all the necessary insurances and benefits for your

If your travel rewards goals is flying like VIPs in first or
business class this card is not for you. There are much better options
out there that will get you those premium seats much faster and at a
better return than this card would.

What about the claim of being “Best no-fee coverage
travel card”. You’ll notice then leave ‘rewards’ out as they know other
no-fee travel rewards offer higher returns but the claim about coverage?
The only coverage they have on this card that other no fee cards have
is Flight Delay insurance but other cards in the no fee category have
other insurances like Trip Interruption and Price Protection which this
card does not have. It also has that WeatherGuard guarantee but we here
don’t feel that is a game changer as the majority of trips taken by cardholders will not qualify. That is why you
see travel providers like offering this type of benefit
as well as the pay out for them is very little. So in our minds it is not
the Best no-fee coverage travel card but its not bad either. If this
card was available across Canada it would definitely make it into our
Top 5 Travel Points Credit Cards (with no annual fee) in our annual

Care to comment? Do you agree or disagree with us? Tell us what you think
about the ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard in the comments section below.

Related Links:

ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard on

Rewards Canada’s All Travel
Rewards Credit Card Comparison including the ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard

Rewards Canada’s Travel Points Only
Credit Card Comparison including the ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard

Other cards to consider if you are looking at this

Air Miles MasterCard

One® Aspire Travel™ Platinum MasterCard®

CAA Rewards MasterCard